Everton and Blackburn target Taylor after Newcastle contract row
Published 23:00 25/08/10 By Simon Bird
Steven Taylor was put up for sale by Newcastle yesterday after turning down a 45k a week four-year deal - as his contract wrangle with the club reached boiling point.
Everton and Blackburn have been alerted after former England U21 star Taylor found out through a third party that United want to sell him.
The £4 million rated defender has been in talks over a new deal for months with his current contract ending in June.
The atmosphere between player, his agents and MD Derek Llambias hit breaking point yesterday after it was leaked that Taylor would not be getting a new contract and was being sold.
It was claimed that Taylor, 24, wanted 60k a week parity with team mates including Alan Smith, Joey Barton and Xisco.
Taylor's representatives yesterday denied demanding a 60k a week, but Newcastle sources say he was been offered a lucrative deal at the top end of Newcastle's new wage ceiling.
Mike Ashley is determined to make the club self sufficient within five years and has limited transfer funds and wages this season. Former England star Sol Campbell is believed to be on 35k a week.
Last night the Taylor camp insisted that the young defender, who stuck with the club last season during their season in the Championship, still wants to play at St James's Park.
His representative said in a statement: "Figures released to the media do not accurately reflect the position of either Steven or his agent.
"Both remain happy to continue negotiations over a new extended Newcastle United contract.
"Steven was surprised to hear through third parties that the club had tried to transfer list him. He has always given 100pc to the club and will continue to do so given the opportunity."
Newcastle have some high earners still in their squad with Taylor's centre back partner Fabricio Coloccini earning 80k a week.
Any player signing a new deal is being asked to accept a relegation clause slashing their basic pay should Newcastyle drop out of the top flight again.
Taylor is currently out with a dislocated shoulder and he expects to be fit again in a month. He missed the second half of last season with knee trouble.
Hughton last night contradicted the club's public stance against Taylor and insisted he wants to keep him.
The United boss, who is also out of contract in the summer with negotiations on a new deal stalled, said: "It is a situation we hope will be resolved. I think everyone is aware of what has happened. That is because of a breakdown in contract talks between the two parties. Taylor is a player we very much want to stay at the club. He is a quality player and I am very hopeful it will be resolved.
"I believe Steven wants to stay. I think all parties want this to be resolved."